Uruguay Govt. to Open up LPG Market

Uruguay's government is working out a new model for opening up the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) market, according to Carlos Costa, head of the utilities regulator, Ursea. "The priority is to have more competition in the LPG market, which is currently a duopoly," Costa told BNamericas, adding "the idea is to attract at least one more player to the market."

Uruguay's two LPG distributors are Acodike and Riogas, which have operated under a concession for about 20 years that ends on April 26. The government has already warned them that those concessions will not be renewed and a new model will be established.

Ursea is charged with encouraging competition within the LPG market and will also be responsible for drawing up the contracts once the model has been defined.

The LPG market in Uruguay moves about 1 million liters a year, split roughly in half between the two companies, and accounting for about 20% of the fuels market in Uruguay. In a bad year, the companies make a profit of between US$4-8mn, Costa said.

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